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Press Releases 08

We’ll Hit’em Where it Hurts - In the Pocket

Statement by Ambassador Antonio O. Garza

Mexico City, June 12, 2008 – “Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement Julie Myers met with Administrator General of Mexican Customs Juan Jose Bravo in Mexico City today to launch a new Trade Transparency Unit (TTU), a cooperative and bilateral operation.

“This Trade Transparency Unit, which will be operated by Mexican Customs, will help track patterns of cross-border trade that indicate money laundering. Successful investigations by other TTU’s operating in this hemisphere have helped shut down criminal organizations engaged in smuggling drugs, weapons, and human trafficking.

“Money laundering provides the life-blood for criminal organizations, allowing them to create a legitimate façade and fund their day to day activities. TTU’s allow us to cut off the oxygen to these operations, and expose the sources of their ill-gotten gains.

“The Trade Transparency Unit is another example of the many cooperative programs where Mexican authorities are adopting the same successful strategies that are increasing pressure on criminal organizations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

“I congratulate AG Bravo and the hard-working officials at Mexican Customs, along with Assistant Secretary Myers and the U.S. government interagency team, who are at the forefront of this crucial new initiative in Mexico. Only by working together will we succeed in our fight against cross-border crime.”

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